Church of England Diocese of Worcester Suckley

Facilities and features

Click on the tags below to learn more about each.

Accessibility

We are at present saving for a fully accessible toilet (follow the support link and help us with a donation!). Meanwhile there is a portable outside 'Enviroloo' toilet at the back of church. It is regularly serviced, but without running water we have had to close it during the Covid-19 pandemic. Suckley is a 'Toilet Twinning Community' and our church 'Enviroloo' is twinned with a latrine in Côte d'Ivoire.

These too are planned in our proposed toilet with baby-change facilities. Any donation will be welcome to help us on our way!

Cyclists are always welcome - especially in 'normal' times when you are welcome to use our DIY refreshment facilities in the North Transept. Bikes are usually left leaning against the church porch. Suckley is a very low-crime area, but it's always a good idea to lock bikes.

Usually there is plenty of on-street parking near the church. It is always best to avoid the beginning and end of the school day. With the village school just over the road we definitely have a 'rush-hour' which is best avoided!

We are at present saving for a fully accessible toilet (follow the support link and help us with a donation!). Meanwhile there is only a 'portable' outside toilet at the back of church. It is regularly serviced, but without running water we have had to close it during the Covid-19 pandemic.

There is no public telephone nearby. Mobile reception is generally good in the region of the church, and the church has good WiFi available.

Suckley Church would like to welcome all visitors in the most helpful and appropriate way. If you think we can help by being prepared for your visit, please contact a warden or the vicar.

Our paths are definitely not user-friendly to wheels of any sort. We keep a 'Transit' wheelchair in the tower, which you are welcome to borrow. If you require a parking space to be reserved for you, please let a warden (or the vicar) know, and we will put bollards out for your parking space.

The AED is on the wall of the school just over the road from the church. The heated AED cabinet is never locked.

Our paths are definitely not user-friendly to wheels of any sort. We keep a 'Transit' wheelchair in the tower, which you are welcome to borrow. There is a portable ramp for the main church door - it is usually kept near the font.

The equipment is ready and the wiring is all in place for our Hearing (Induction) Loop - we're just awaiting the electrician to connect it up as part of our new Audio-Visual system.

We can have large print service sheets available if we know you need them. Please contact a warden (or the vicar) before your arrival.

Assistance dogs are welcome. Please let us know if you are coming and we'll find your friend some water! Contact a warden or the vicar.

All the churches in the Worcester West Rural Team are doing their best to be Dementia Aware and accessible. Please speak to a warden (or the vicar) if there is something particular that we can help you with.

In 'normal' times our refreshments usually include both dairy free and gluten free alternatives. At present, in Covid-times and without running water, we have had to close our Refreshment area, which is usually available to welcome all visitors.


Our Building

At present Suckley Church is open for private prayer every Saturday during September from 10am to 5pm.

Suckley is an ancient place mentioned in the Domesday Book.
There has been a church on this site since early Norman times and many features were retained when the Victorians rebuilt it (such as the large Tub Font dated about 1150-1200 and its 17th century domed cover, the Piscina - which is a 14th century recess in the North Wall of the Chancel used for washing sacred vessels, and the Jacobean pulpit. The old wall tablets were tidied up into the base of the bell tower). Suckley Church is a Listed Building Grade 2.
Outside is a very ancient preaching cross, the base of which is scarred where arrows were sharpened on the stones. This is a Listed Monument.
The Sanctuary was modernised by the then Diocesan architect, W J Hopkins (1820-1901) much of whose work can be seen in Worcester and whose masterpiece is said to be at Hallow.
The beautiful 1571 chalice is now kept in the bank.
The East window shows some of the best stained glass of the day by Kempe, whose wheatsheaf signature can be seen.
The fine ring of six bells, cast by the Rudhall foundry at Gloucester in around 1710, is rung regularly.
The handsome clock on the tower was installed in 1911 in memory of Mr E H Hill, a local benefactor, whose good deeds include the gift of the village hall to the parish. The clock was repainted and regilded in 2009 by Ivor Bramich.

The nearest Post Office is in the Longley Green part of Suckley, where several footpaths cross. It is open Monday to Saturday, and both Mark and Julian are keen to make your Suckley visit a happy one.

Suckley Church is registered with Arocha as an aspiring Eco-church. At present we are aspiring to gain a silver award!


Music and Worship

The fine ring of six bells, cast by the Rudhall foundry at Gloucester in around 1710, is rung regularly. Made by Abraham and Abel Rudhall of Gloucester, we have:
The treble is inscribed 'Jos Racster & Dan1. Coney Ch.-wardens A.R. 1755'
the second 'Abraham Rudhall Bellfounder 1710'
the third 'God Save the Queen & Church A.R. 1710'
the fourth has the same inscription as the second
the fifth is inscribed 'Peace & Good Neighbourhood A.R. 1710'
and the tenor 'I to the Church the living call and to the grave do summons all 1725.'
Our bell captain lives nearby and would love to meet anyone interested in Suckley's bells. Her phone number is 01886 884280

Suckley Church has a fine acoustic, and in 'normal times' we have held many very successful concerts here - the biggest gathering was probably when we had a Julian Lloyd Webber recital. In normal times we arrange musical entertainment of many different sorts and on many occasions each year. 'Tiny Tunes' (with the talents of the Elgar School of Music) has brought toddlers and their families together here on several occasions. Suckley has a Family Orchestra which brings together all ages and stages of music making, and plays in the church about 3 times a year.We look forward to concerts and live music here as soon as we are able to.

Suckley has a beautiful example of an early Nicholson organ. It was was previously situated in the Vestry, where the organist could only hear and see the now-empty choir stalls in the Chancel. When the organ was built, and when the present John Ranford was a young chorister, Suckley had a significant choir (John remembers walking across the fields to choir and pumping the organ by hand!). Now in its new situation it can be appreciated all the better, and the organist can see and hear the congregation for the first time too.

Suckley's Family Orchestra brings together all ages and stages of music making from age 8 to 80! They lead our musical worship at Harvest and Christmas and other occasions. We are also very grateful that worship leaders from other churches regularly help lead our musical worship. Dave Wellington and Bethany, from the Elim church, regularly lead our evening worship with keyboard, guitar and flute. 'Mixed Blessings' Music Group from St Johns have regularly led our worship music for many years.


Groups, Courses and Activities

At present our Team of churches usually has its youth activities based in Martley. When the facilities in Suckley Church are all 'up and running' we look forward to playing a more useful part in the lives of our local young people.

Suckley Church members are keen to publicise and join with local nurture courses. There have been regular home groups, which have now become regular Zoom groups.

The church wardens are aware of locally available support from the nearby General Practitioners.

After School Club and generally 'wrap around care' are both on our aspiring wish list as urgently needed - as soon as we can be equipped with the necessary facilities.

Suckley Church, with the other churches in the Worcester West Rural Team, enjoys regular involvement with a local Alpha Course.

The 1st Leigh Scout Group is one of the largest groups in the Malvern District covering Brownies, Beaver scouts, Cub scouts, Scouts and Explorer scouts. This well established group draws members from Suckley, Alfrick, Leigh and Leigh Sinton, and meets in Leigh Sinton Village Hall.

In normal times there is a home Bible Study twice a month. At present this has been postponed for Covid-related reasons.

The 1st Leigh Scout Group is one of the largest groups in the Malvern District covering Brownies, Beaver scouts, Cub scouts, Scouts and Explorer scouts. This well established group draws members from Suckley, Alfrick, Leigh and Leigh Sinton, and meets in Leigh Sinton Village Hall.

There is usually a local course exploring the Christian Faith held at one of our local churches each year. In 2019 we had an Alpha Course held in Martley.

At present Covid-related restrictions prevent this. Previously the church hosted a weekly "Mother's Coffee morning' for mothers and pre-school children.

Suckley Church regularly hosts several community events:
1) We held our first BFG (Beer Food and Gifts) Festival of local produce and talents in September 2017, and this is now a popular annual event for the whole community in the church and churchyard. With a footfall of over 1000, this raises significant funds for SPACE, our registered community charity, as well as the stall holders.
2) We held our first FairTrade Fest during FairTrade Fortnight 2017, and we now have one every year. There are several stalls of fairly traded food and clothing items. Every year this successful event raises money for FairTrade, and for the individual associated charities like 'People in Motion', 'Toilet Twinning' and SPACE that also have stalls..
3) We held our first Ceilidh in January 2018, to celebrate completion of the new wooden floor, and this is now a popular annual village event for all ages.
4) Now that the Nave is a useful multi-purpose space, we are keen to include the necessary facilities so that the Space can be used by the more vulnerable and lonely in the village. This is the only space large enough to host 'flip in the six' , 'Tea Dances' for the elderly, 'Cross Generational Teas' (with the older pupils serving teas to the elderly and vulnerable in the village) etc.

Suckley Church set up the Community Registered Charity SPACE (Suckley Parish Academy and Community Enterprises) to work with the PCC to facilitate the changes necessary to bring new life to the Suckley community by providing 21st century facilities within the large well situated church building, offering this scattered rural village a much needed active hub, useful to all, including our adjacent primary school.

Suckley has a well established Good Neighbour Scheme, which includes volunteers who have been trained as Counsellors. This group is looking forward to when we have the soundproof Community Room set up, with its Wifi and independent access. This is planned to be where the present Vestry is.

The 1st Leigh Scout Group is one of the largest groups in the Malvern District covering Brownies, Beaver scouts, Cub scouts, Scouts and Explorer scouts. This well established group draws members from Suckley, Alfrick, Leigh and Leigh Sinton, and meets in Leigh Sinton Village Hall.

Suckley has a well established Good Neighbour Scheme, which includes several volunteers who have been trained as Community Liaison Volunteers for Citizens Advice. This group is looking forward to when we have the soundproof Community Room set up, with its Wifi and independent access. This is planned to be where the present Vestry is.

Suckley has a well established Good Neighbour Scheme, which includes several volunteers who have been trained as Community Liaison Volunteers for Citizens Advice on employment and other issues. This group is looking forward to when we have the soundproof Community Room set up, with its Wifi and independent access. This is planned to be where the present Vestry is.

The village weekly exercise club has asked several times when we will be available to welcome them. We now have the new floor and the underfloor heating - just the running water for kitchen and toilet and we'll be ready!

The 1st Leigh Scout Group is one of the largest groups in the Malvern District covering Brownies, Beaver scouts, Cub scouts, Scouts and Explorer scouts. This well established group draws members from Suckley, Alfrick, Leigh and Leigh Sinton, and meets in Leigh Sinton Village Hall.

Suckley has a well established Good Neighbour Scheme, which includes several volunteers who have been trained as Community Liaison Volunteers for Citizens Advice on money advice and other issues. This group is looking forward to when we have the soundproof Community Room set up, with its Wifi and independent access. This is planned to be where the present Vestry is.

Now that the Nave is a useful multi-purpose space, we are keen to include the necessary facilities so that the Space can be used by the more vulnerable and lonely in the village. This is the only space large enough to hold 'Tea Dances' for the elderly, or 'Cross Generational Teas' with the older pupils serving teas to the elderly and vulnerable in the village etc.

At present Covid-related restrictions prevent this. Previously the church hosted a weekly "Mother's Coffee morning' for mothers and pre-school children.

There is usually a local course exploring the Christian Faith held at one of our local churches each year. In 2019 we had an Alpha Course held in Martley.

Suckley Church is happy to work with the 'Community Payback Team' (Part of West Mercia Community Rehabilitation Company) who regularly visit Suckley Church to help with maintenance jobs like cutting the grass, weeding the paths, wood-preserving the fence etc.

The 1st Leigh Scout Group is one of the largest groups in the Malvern District covering Brownies, Beaver scouts, Cub scouts, Scouts and Explorer scouts. This well established group draws members from Suckley, Alfrick, Leigh and Leigh Sinton, and meets in Leigh Sinton Village Hall.

The church doors were closed in 'lockdown', but members worked with the Suckley Good Neighbour Scheme and the Village shop and the Parish Council to support the village during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The church doors were closed in 'lockdown', but members worked with the Suckley Good Neighbour Scheme and the Village shop and the Parish Council to support the village during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. This underlined the need for the large space within the church to have toilet and kitchen facilities. The scattered village of Suckley undoubtedly has residents who feel lonely and socially isolated, and will benefit from the church Space when it has suitable facilities.

At present our Team of churches usually has its youth activities based in Martley. When the facilities in Suckley Church are all 'up and running' we look forward to playing a more useful part in the lives of our local young people.


Help for Visitors

Yes, Suckley Church has free WiFi. The code is 82307168F6.

We plan a virtual guided tour to be available during Heritage Open Days in September.

At present, for Covid-related reasons, there are none of our leaflets or history sheets left out. There are two pop-up display stands of the proposed building plans.

At present in Covid-restricted times there are no refreshment facilities. In the past, despite no running water, we have maintained a DIY refreshment area that has often been used by those visiting the church and churchyard.

During these Covid-restricted times, Suckley Church is open for private prayer between 10am and 5pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Normally Suckley Church is open every day in daylight hours, and is often used by the school over the road during the school week. We try and keep Monday mornings and Thursday mornings (and w/e and holidays) free for church use..


Other Features

Suckley is a FairTrade Church - so we use and encourage others to use FairTrade food and stores whenever possible. Every year, during FairTrade Fortnight, Suckley Church has a FairTrade Fest. There are several stalls of fairly traded food and clothing items, as well as clothing for 'People in Motion (Refugees) and a Toilet Twinning stall. Suckley is a Toilet Twinning Community.

There is a Hamper at the back of Suckley Church ready to accept donations for the local Food Bank whenever the church is open. Thank you to the kind souls that regularly have dropped off donations here - they are increasingly necessary as a result of the present pandemic.

In recent years we have enjoyed using 'Follow the Star' with our Christmas celebrations. Covid-19 restrictions have meant that we will be doing something different this year.

Until now our AV facilities have been woefully inadequate, but we are now installing the new Audio-visual system which will encompass a wide variety of needs, including the need for 'virtual' and 'hybrid' services.

Suckley Church is outside, but immediately next to, Worcestershire's only AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) with several areas of ancient woodland and the long distance Geological Trail, the GeoPark Way. It is in an area of outstandingly dark skies, which is a rare asset to local astronomers.